The NHL has released their Three Stars for last week, and a familiar name is at the very top. Nathan MacKinnon finds himself awarded top honors once again after nine points in three games. The Colorado Avalanche center has been carrying the offensive weight without his usual running mates Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog as they deal with injury, but shows no sign of slowing down.
Second and third place go to a pair of goaltenders who have battled hard to stay in their respective roles. David Rittich stopped 95 of 101 shots last week to help the Calgary Flames potentially save their season, while Martin Jones is a huge reason why the San Jose Sharks are back in the playoff race at all. Both netminders have had their share of adversity over the years, but are playing inspired hockey at the moment.
- It was reported recently that Nicklas Backstrom is representing himself in negotiations with the Washington Capitals, and he confirmed as much today to reporters including Samantha Pell of the Washington Post. Pell reports that Backstrom actually wanted to get an extension done with the team before the season began, but feels he “can be honest” with the organization after so many years together. The 32-year old center is in the final season of a ten-year contract he signed with the Capitals in 2010 and carries a $6.7MM cap hit.
- Speaking of Colorado injuries, Colin Wilson will undergo surgery on a lower-body injury and is out for a while, according to Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic. Wilson has only played nine games this season and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. It’s not clear exactly how long he will be out.